the berlin wall!!! who knew?
Fell so hard it landed on the other side of the Atlantic!
And isn't it interesting how many extra, superfluous words it takes the same the same thing in French as it does in English?
You can't always phrase things the exact same way in French as in English, which means none of the words in the French are actually 'extra' or 'superfluous'. The average French sentence is 15-20% longer than its English equivalent, and German is generally only slightly less wordy than that.
Whoah, language geekVery much the case (I should point out that the idea that the words are superfluous is a subjective value judgement, of course). In the instance of French, it's a reticence of right-branching languages, which Latin-descended languages typically are, to form compound words directly, relying more often instead on prepositions to relate the words. There's some logic to this, as explained to me by a woman from Spain who said, "If a glass table is a table made of glass, what, then, is a coffee table...?" The brevity English and other Germanic languages tend to gain in this way comes at the risk of ambiguity.
German, for its part, tends to suffer from the opposite sin, one common to other left-branching languages... a Lego-like snapping together of elements into unwieldy (to English eyes) compound words, exacerbated by a reluctance (at least till fairly recently) to adopt concise foreign terms. English has traditionally been much more amenable than German to incorporating precise foreign words for new concepts. English has walked a fine compromise between these two traditions; a practice that has resulted in, as we've observed, a higher degree of brevity, as well as garnering it an unusually large vocabulary with a wide variety of synonyms and near-synonyms with subtle shades of meaning. Not that I want to pat English-speakers on the back for any of this; none of it was by design. It's just how the language evolved culturally.